North Greenville began the conference season with a 3-2 victory over the Hawks of Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. With the win, the Crusaders are 1-0 in conference play and just one win away from returning to a .500 record. Abigail Durham put together a strong match with 15 kills on 31 attacks. She also contributed defensively with a solo block, 2 assisted blocks, and 2 digs.
Set one began with a dominating 9-1 run by the Crusaders that included four service aces. NGU would continue to pull away with three of the next four points to lead 12-2. Later up 16-6, North Greenville would continue to carry the momentum with a 5-1 run that included four kills to take a 21-7 lead. Chowan would close their deficit slightly, but the Crusaders would easily go on to take the opening set 25-13.
The second set began with the Hawks pulling away early with an 8-3 lead. NGU would storm back by going on a four-point run to trail by just one point. After Chowan slightly built their lead back up, momentum once again shifted to the Crusaders, who would take over the lead 13-11. After CU quickly came back to tie up the set, the two teams would battle back and forth for several points. A five-point run by Chowan late in the set proved to be the difference as they would go on to take it 25-21.
North Greenville were the aggressors out of the gate to begin set three, taking an early 6-2 lead including two kills by Rachel Miller. CU fought back with four straight points to tie the set at 6-6. Momentum once again returned to the Crusaders in a big way, scoring the next six points to lead 12-6 and forcing a Chowan timeout. Later up 17-10, the Hawks would put together a small run to cut their deficit to three, but NGU countered enough to hold off the Hawks and take the third set 25-22.
Chowan was the team with the hot start in set four, scoring seven of the first ten points. The Crusaders trailed throughout the set, but would come back to tie it up at 16-16 and would even take the lead. However, a six point run by CU put them up 22-17. Seeming like the set was in hand with the score 24-19 in favor of Chowan, North Greenville had other plans and came back to tie the set and force extra points. After a timeout by the Hawks, CU was able to score the final two points to end the set 26-24.
The fifth and final set proved to be a nonissue for North Greenville, scoring the first seven points of the set. After Chowan scored a point to get on the board, the Crusaders responded with a four point run to lead 11-1. Both teams would score four additional points from there to make the final score 15-5 to end the match with a win for the Crusaders.
NGU returns to action tomorrow to take on the Bulldogs of Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina.